Anguilla’s .AI Domain Generates Millions Amid AI Boom

The Caribbean island of Anguilla has capitalized on the rise of artificial intelligence by leasing its .ai domain to tech companies, leading to a substantial increase in government revenue. This small British Overseas Territory, located east of Puerto Rico, has seen its financial fortunes rise thanks to the burgeoning AI industry.

In 1995, Anguilla was assigned the .ai domain code by the International Telecommunication Union, a move that was initially insignificant due to the island’s limited technological infrastructure. Haydn Hughes, Anguilla’s Minister of Tourism and Infrastructure, told Fox Business that the island had no computers or internet at the time, making artificial intelligence an alien concept.

“Back then, we didn’t have email addresses or the internet in Anguilla,” Hughes explained. “AI was far removed from our reality.”

Fast forward to today, and Anguilla has turned this domain into a major revenue stream. The number of registered .ai domains surged from 100,000 in 2021 to 354,000 by 2023, spurred by the release of AI tools such as ChatGPT by OpenAI. As a result, the .ai domain contributed over 20% of the island’s government revenue in 2023, compared to just 4% in 2019, bringing in around $32 million last year.

“This growth in AI has made the .ai domain highly desirable, significantly boosting our revenue,” Hughes noted. The influx of funds has been invested in essential infrastructure projects, including senior healthcare and the public education system.

Hughes highlighted the broader impact of this revenue, noting that it has enhanced Anguilla’s global profile. Visitors interested in the .ai domain often discover the island’s rich hospitality offerings, which include top-notch restaurants, hotels, and villas.

Anguilla’s experience mirrors that of Tuvalu, a South Pacific island that earns about $10 million annually by leasing its .tv domain code to GoDaddy. Both islands have successfully monetized their unique internet domain codes, turning them into valuable assets.